News From Terre Haute, Indiana

March 22, 2013

Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce’s ‘Business After Hours’ event has basketball theme with free throws, pizza and tournament games

Sue Loughlin
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — In the spirit of March Madness, Joe Opremchak joined other business professionals at the Ballyhoo on Thursday to network, watch basketball and shoot some hoops.

He attended the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce “Business After Hours” event, which carried a March Madness theme.

The Ballyhoo converted part of the establishment into a makeshift basketball court, complete with a temporary basketball goal. Some of the Chamber members participated in a free throw competition — including Opremchak, who is the general manager at MCL.  

Business After Hours “is a chance to network with some of the other people in the Chamber and a chance to have a good time and watch a little basketball,” he said.

A big college basketball fan, he’s picking Indiana University to win the NCAA tournament. “We’ll see what happens,” he said.

Asked how he did in free throw competition, Opremchak said, “Not very well.”

He was joined by Jason Golden, MCL chef/manager, who also shot free throws. He wants Ohio State to win the tournament. “I’m from Ohio,” he said.

Kristen Flesher, who works for Employment Plus, said she’s not a huge basketball fan, but she wants Ohio State to win it all, too.

Greg Smith, Employment Plus area manager, said he likes attending Business After Hours to network and make new contacts, and “to talk to folks you haven’t seen in awhile as well as those you do business with.”

His choice for NCAA champions? “I’m rooting for the Hoosiers. I’m a huge Hoosiers fan,” he said.

He also did “very, very, very well” in the free throw contest, he said.

Ken Brengle, Chamber president and CEO, said the Chamber has committed to three events per quarter for its members — a breakfast, lunch and Business After Hours event.

The Chamber had done March Madness at the Ballyhoo in years past, but got away from it for awhile.

On Thursday, the event drew several members.

Business After Hours “gives our members a  chance to do some networking in a more social, relaxed atmosphere,” he said.

His choice to win the NCAA tournament is IU. “We wish the best for IU. Hopefully they go all the way,” Brengle said.

He’d like to be watching Indiana State University in the tournament. “We’re just proud of the Sycamores and what they did do this year and we’re looking forward to next year,” Brengle said.

Sue Loughlin can be reached at (812) 231-4235 or